IOC president Bach visits Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Discussions focused on the DPRK's future involvement in the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games

IOC President Thomas Bach travelled to Pyongyang on Thursday after playing an important role in allowing North Korean athletes to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared that discussions during his visit would focus on development of sports in North Korea, and the preparation of its athletes to qualify and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the Youth Olympic Games 2020 and 2022.

"This visit is part of the close cooperation and consultations the IOC enjoys with all of the 206 National Olympic Committees," the IOC said in a statement.

Bach accepted an invitation from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the DPRK that was extended during the discussions regarding the “Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration” on 20 January 2018 in Lausanne.

Powerful message

Following agreements made at these discussions in Lausanne, the two delegations of the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) marched together as one under the name Korea and behind one Korean unification flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

The Games also saw the formation of a unified women’s ice hockey team with players from the two countries, sending a message of peace from the Korean Peninsula to the world.

22 North Korean athletes competed in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Games had sent a ‘powerful message’, Bach said during the Games in PyeongChang. "We hope now that the political world will use this momentum for the dialogue on their level because now it's up to the politicians."

The IOC delegation will leave Pyongyang on 31 March in the morning.